1,092

Raiders squander golden opportunity

Despite so many losses over the years, it would be difficult to imagine a more damaging one than the Raiders 28-27 defeat at the hands of the Detroit Lions on Sunday.
The Raiders led by 13 points with 7 minutes, 47 seconds left, they had a sold-out crowd lending their support and the Lions offense had become one-dimensional.
Worse, the Raiders received numerous reminders throughout the game about the Denver Broncos and New York Jets losing big. This one was there for the taking.
In the end, it was the Lions who did all the taking. Quarterback Matthew Stafford connected for two touchdown passes within the final 5 minutes, including one with 39 seconds left, in rallying the Lions for an improbable victory.
Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh preserved the victory by partially blocking Sebastian Janikowski’s 65-yard field-goal attempt as time expired.
“Obvious to say I’m disappointed is an understatment,” Raiders coach Hue Jackson said. “A team just went 98 yards and found a way to win. We had chances to win the game.”
Stafford guided the Lions 98 yards in less than two minutes for the game-deciding touchdown after Shane Lechler had pinned the Lions with a punt with 2:14 left in the game.
Stafford completed 5 of 8 passes for 91 yards on the drive, which was aided by a 17-yard pass interference penalty on cornerback Stanford Routt.
“We knew we had to win that one and fought hard, fought hard, fought hard and let it slip,” Raiders strong safety Tyvon Branch said. “These are the games that hurt. These are the games you remember, and they hurt for a long time.”
The pain is going to linger into the offseason if losing this game winds up costing the Raiders a playoff berth.
As of now, the Raiders are right where they started the day, one game behind the Broncos in the AFC West and one game behind the New York Jets in the chase for the second wild-card berth — the Cincinnati Bengals joined the Jets at 8-6 with a victory over the St. Louis Rams today.
For the Raiders to make the playoffs, one of two things needs to happen.
One, they need to finish ahead of the Broncos in the AFC West, unless the Broncos lose to the Kansas City Chiefs on Jan. 1. In that case, the Raiders would win the tiebreaker based on a better divisional record, assuming the Raiders beat the Chiefs on Saturday and the San Diego Chargers on Jan. 1.
Second, the Raiders need to finish ahead of or tied with the Jets. The Raiders would win the tiebreak over the Jets by virtue of a victory over the Jets earlier this season.
Still crunching the numbers to see how the Raiders would fare in a three-way tie with the Jets and Bengals. If that happens, the tiebreak is strength of victory.
“It would be easy to go in the tank and say, ‘We blew our opportunity,’ ” Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer said, “but we have a good group of leadership and we understand where we are. Obviously, we desperately needed this win. It didn’t work out. But we’ve got two big games left, and who knows what happens with other teams. We need help, obviously.”

PALMER’S BIG GAME
Palmer rebounded from, perhaps, his worst game as a Raider with his best. He completed 32 of 40 passes for 367 yards and two touchdowns.
Two of Palmer’s incompletions came on spikes late in the first half. However, two of Palmer’s six other incompletions came at critical junctures.
On one play, Palmer sailed a ball over the head of wide receiver Denarius Moore, who ran past a Lions cornerback — the defender fell on his face — and into the open in the end zone.
Then, late in the game, Palmer’s deep pass for receiver Chaz Schilens hit off Schilens’ hand on a third-and-three play. That not only stopped the clock, when the Lions were out of time-outs, but it passed as a bit ambitious when the Raiders needed only 3 yards for a first down.
From there, the Raiders could have run out most of the clock. As it turned out, the Raiders punted and gave the Lions one more opportunity, which they cashed in with a game-winning drive.
Palmer said he still was thinking about his two overthrows after the game.
“Absolutely. Absolutely. The third down to Chaz, where I put too much on the ball,” Palmer said, “I need to give him a better chance to make a play on it. That’s a game-changing play.
“I had another one early on in the game to Denarius that I wish I would have hit. And that’s why I said, we just didn’t make enough plays and I didn’t make enough plays to give us a chance to put them away.”

PENALTIES KEEP PILING UP
Jackson ripped into his players earlier this week about eliminating some of the penalties that surfaced game after game. Palmer and other players said they received the message and understood the importance of playing “smarter” football.
The Raiders went a long time without any penalties Sunday and even made it into the locker room at halftime with only three for 15 yards.
However, by game’s end the final tally looked pretty similar to other games. The Raiders finished with 10 for 86, including a personal foul on linebacker Aaron Curry for celebrating too much after his fumble return for a touchdown.
That forced the Raiders to kick off from their own 20-yard line and made it easier for the Lions to score a touchdown on the ensuing possession.

HEYWARD-BEY’S BIG GAME
Wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey caught a career-high eight passes for 155 yards and one touchdown. Like Palmer, his performance was overshadowed by a couple of plays.
Heyward-Bey fumbled at the end of a 29-yard reception late in the third quarter, with the Raiders leading 17-14 and driving for another score. He also dropped a pass on Oakland’s final drive, when the Raiders were working their way toward better field position for a potential Janikowski field goal.
“I would’ve liked our chances better there,” Jackson said. “You got to make those plays. It goes back to the same thing. If you don’t make those plays, then you lose. And we didn’t make ‘em. And we had our chances. We can point to three plays. You can point to that one, you can point to the fumble going in.”
Heyward-Bey seemed to take no solace in his impressive overall performance.
“I don’t think about what kind of game I played,” Heyward-Bey said. “I just think about how we lost.”

QUESTIONABLE CALLS BY JACKSON
Jackson is fond of saying he lives life on the edge. The downside is, of course, there’s always the risk of falling off.
On Sunday, Jackson passed on a 42-yard field-goal attempt in favor of a pass for Moore on fourth-and-one. Hard to fault Jackson, given Moore was wide open and the play should have resulted in a touchdown.
However, a field goal at that point would have changed the complexion of the game in the fourth quarter. Same goes for Jackson’s decision to go for the extra point, when the Raiders scored a touchdown to make it 26-14. A two-point coversion would have given the Raiders a 14-point lead.
“You just kick it, you go for one,” Jackson said. “There’s a time to go for two and there’s a time … to me, I thought going for one in that situation is the right thing to do, OK?”
OK, Sir.
Palmer said he isn’t one to second-guess a coach.
“I never question coach,” Palmer said. “He knows what he’s doing. It’s easy to say, Monday morning quarterback, to look back and say, shoulda done this, shoulda done that, or second guess things. We thought after that, offensively, we’d just stay on the field and the game’s over. And we didn’t stay on the field.”
As for the fourth-down call, Jackson said the real question is, why didn’t the officials call a penalty on the Lions.
“I thought that was a penalty,” Jackson said. “Obviously, they didn’t call it. What I saw, from what my vantage point is, I seen the guy grab, kind of hook Denarius.”
Regardless, Jackson feels as if he made the proper call.
“You have to take that shot,” Jackson said. “It looked … and the guy was wide open. If you’re going to do it, it’s good to do it early in the game so it doesn’t determine the outcome of the game. Obviously, every play now will get questioned (saying) that is the reason why we did or didn’t win, but we’re going to stay aggressive. We took a shot there. I thought we had a good chance at it but we didn’t hit it. We came up short.”

SEYMOUR REBOUNDS
Defensive tackle Richard Seymour recorded no tackles his past two games and only one the past five games. On Sunday, he posted two tackles and batted away a pass on a third-down play.
On several other plays, Seymour penetrated the Lions offensive line and pressured Stafford. He might not have had the big game that defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan predicted but he certainly made his presence felt.

Follow me on Twitter: @corkonthenfl

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Steve Corkran

  • LA to TheBay

    Thus far, looks like a wasted season.

    Maybe if we win out, it could be a spring board, like Gruden’s 99 campaign.

  • LA to TheBay

    I wish I could say this game bothered me more.

    It just kind of showed me that they are who we thought they were.

    Potential to be a #1 offense with a great future and defense with potentially some good building blocks and terrible scheme/preparation.

  • emil4423

    Raider hangover this one hurts

  • 18yearsold18yearfan

    Are any of you guys watching this press conference

  • raidertalk

    I want Madden as a GM because I don’t want the Raiders to be another cookie cutter organization…I want someone that can atleast carry some of the tradition of the Team.
    Not some trendy punk

  • autopalm77

    Schizophrenia prevails….Where are all the hang Khalif Barnes haters today….My hands are too soar from using an imaginary picture of mistyeyes taped to a concrete wall and slamming it all day or I would be calling more of you out….

  • raiderinparadise

    Welll Moore back helped open things up and hurt the D without much catches.

    Ford should be back this week too.

  • autopalm77

    …sore…***

  • Blackmamba_20

    Silverandblack666 Says:
    December 19th, 2011 at 3:04 pm
    Ron-Mexico is a Dolphins fan who I lost $20 when they beat us and the douche will not let it go.

    ———

    Ron-Mexico is Mick Vicks code name when he was visting the STD clinic’s …

  • Silverandblack666

    “Are any of you guys watching this press conference”

    Link please

  • Gerard

    Raiders should bring in Ron Wolf as some kind of consultant at least.

    They guy is magic. He might be old too but he can still contribute I think.

  • LA to TheBay

    “Are any of you guys watching this press conference”

    ———-

    Anything of note or typical stuff?

  • Blackmamba_20

    1045.raiderinparadise Says:
    December 19th, 2011 at 3:04 pm
    Looks like DHB might be the 1st 1,000 yard reciever since 4ever

    —-

    Whats he at 780 ish??
    he is going to need two big games..
    Be good for him if he could.

  • Gerard

    1059.Silverandblack666 Says:
    December 19th, 2011 at 3:15 pm
    “Are any of you guys watching this press conference”

    Link please

    What press conference?

    Is Hue getting fired? Bresnahan? I hope…

  • 18yearsold18yearfan

    A little of both “you don’t expect a team to go down 98 yards” and sort of a shot at Kyle Boller

  • LA to TheBay

    and sort of a shot at Kyle Boller
    ——

    Wouldn’t be the first from Hue.

    “you don’t expect a team to go down 98 yards” = shot at Bres.

  • Gerard

    I’m sure we’ll hear alot of bragging about how “we stopped the run” yesterday from the defense. They love themselves..they think they’re great.

  • raidertalk

    Lost in all the talk about the Detroit game is that Denarius is a Player in this league…just him being back in the line-up opened up this offense 50% from the last two weeks

  • 18yearsold18yearfan

    They asked if the questionable calls were because he has Palmer as a Qb and he said he made calls like that when Campbell was playing then he said “I even went for it on 4th from our own side in the Cleveland game when I had Boller as QB”

  • LA to TheBay

    I think Chaz, Denarius, DHB and Ford is a good group. Dump Murph and let Housh retire and bring in another guy to compete.

  • Gerard

    “you don’t expect a team to go down 98 yards”

    With ANY of the other 31 you woudldn’t.

    It’s your team Hue. Own up to it.

  • 18yearsold18yearfan

    I hate Housh remember yesterday when he had room to run left for at least close to a first and he ran to the right into 2 guys

  • 18yearsold18yearfan

    I know its not his fault but I blame DMACs injury on Boller he got hurt in that KC game on a throw from Boller so I’m just gonna say its his fault

  • Chris in NY

    REPOST (FROM THE EVE OF THE 2010 DRAFT):

    Chris in NY Says:
    April 21st, 2010 at 10:58 am
    RoCkwiThDaRaideR408 Says:
    April 21st, 2010 at 10:25 am
    Chris in NY Says:
    April 21st, 2010 at 10:05 am

    McClain is bust city.

    ——————————————————-
    lmao..ok buddy, give me three legit reasons for this statement,OTHER than, Nick Saban being his coach, Him having Mt.Cody in the middle, and his lack of “Raider” speed..

    ———

    1. I watched several games and he never stood out as a difference maker/play maker. More of a stats accumulater (which Kirk does just fine).

    2. You already noted how he’s arguably a product of the team/system he played on in college so I guess I can’t use that even though it’s a big factor. How about the fact that he’s very tall for a MLB and leverage could be an issue for him in beating blocks.

    3. Watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhG6bwopKTc&feature=related and tell me what’s so special about his game that he should be the 8th player taken in the draft.

  • 18yearsold18yearfan

    “Up by 13 7 minutes I thought man there’s no way this team scores 13 points”

  • Gerard

    1072.18yearsold18yearfan Says:
    December 19th, 2011 at 3:28 pm
    I know its not his fault but I blame DMACs injury on Boller he got hurt in that KC game on a throw from Boller so I’m just gonna say its his fault

    Me too. I blame Boller for global warming and my insurance premium going up.

  • ENGLANDRAIDER

    They asked if the questionable calls were because he has Palmer as a Qb and he said he made calls like that when Campbell was playing then he said “I even went for it on 4th from our own side in the Cleveland game when I had Boller as QB”

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Yes he did.
    And that was a dumb call too.

    Going for it on 4th is always a gamble which might pay off a third of the time.
    It’s a gamble and the very definition of the word gamble is to bet on an uncertain outcome.

    Detroit is a team known to score a lot of points in the second half well guess what coach, they did.

  • ENGLANDRAIDER

    I know its not his fault but I blame DMACs injury on Boller he got hurt in that KC game on a throw from Boller so I’m just gonna say its his fault

    Me too. I blame Boller for global warming and my insurance premium going up.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Maybe Boller’s calling in those dumb plays to Hue as well.

  • Blackmamba_20

    @1073
    Thats legit alright…

    MLB on the unbeaten top D in the nation,
    can make look a lil better than you are,
    like Kareem Jackson.
    I havent seen enough in your face front up tackles either, always prusuit, and a tad late.
    Still rooting for him, i was a big Law Frim Fan however.

  • raidertalk

    After this game DHB has proved that he is not a Go-To receiver in this League…maybe next year

  • ENGLANDRAIDER

    “You just kick it, you go for one,” Jackson said. “There’s a time to go for two and there’s a time … to me, I thought going for one in that situation is the right thing to do, OK?”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    No, not OK. Going for two points would have made it a two touchdown game and Detroit generally scores a lot of points in the second half.

  • raidertalk

    I blame Boller for the bad economy

  • ENGLANDRAIDER

    After this game DHB has proved that he is not a Go-To receiver in this League…maybe next year

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    DHB had a pretty good game.
    Apart from those two throws, so did Palmer.

  • raiderinparadise

    VittorioTafur Vittorio Tafur
    Hue threw it on 3rd down late instead of running Bush because Lions were stacked 2 stop run. “Run it and bleed clock or throw it & end game”
    4 minutes ago

  • raiderinparadise

    VittorioTafur Vittorio Tafur
    Asked about defensive scheme, Hue said again that his players need to make plays, they were in position — “Zone should be simple”
    3 minutes ago

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    I am not accepting the backpeddling. No playoffs means the CP trade was a bad move. Not because of anything palmer did or didn’t do, but because the the major holes to fill can’t be filled through the draft.

    We knew the d was garbage. So why make the move. Coulda missed the payoffs with boller and signed palmer this offseason at a discount.

    The team you see now will be the team you see nxt year.

  • raiderinparadise

    If he does not play again this year, McFadden will have missed nine games this year and 19 of 64 in his career.

    —-

    wow

  • DEATHROW 55

    McClain is about the same size as Brian urlacher ???? It’s all mentality and McClain just ain’t a boar hunting bad mo fo. He plays like he don’t care reminds me of JR. I want him off my team next yr via trade. I know we have a bad dc and terrible play calling but that whiff on Stafford in the red zone was the last straw for me. I now want to change my user name. It shouldn’t take 3 years for a MLB to show you what he gots. Mcclains motor is a 3 cylinder, stamp that.

  • ArtilleryShell

    Yes a tackle there would have sealed the deal good point about face up tackles McClain ain’t that dude he is a bigger Kirk Morrison. Might be a better 3-4 ILB but not earning top ten money. Blame loss on a lot of things. Seemed like Wimbley and co were trying to contain Stafford by straight rushing, note he had few rushing yds but it cost us sack opportunities

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